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Record seizure of cocaine made in the UK

By Lynn Curwin     Aug 3, 2011 in Crime
Southampton - A six-day search of a luxury yacht in Southampton resulted in 1.2 tonnes of cocaine being discovered, the largest haul ever in the UK.
The cocaine is 90 percent pure, compared to an average purity of 63 per cent for most of that seized in the country, and would have been worth about £300 million on the street.
"This has been an enormous seizure of cocaine," the BBC quoted Brodie Clark, head of the UKBA's border force, as saying. This is the largest we have on record."
He said it would break down to eight tonnes of saleable drugs and that it was "equal to about one third of the requirement for the UK market over the course of a year".
The drugs were found hidden inside a compartment beneath the bathing deck of the yacht 'Louise'.
French authorities were alerted when the boat was in the Caribbean in May. It was loaded onto a ship transporter which was destined for Holland and made a scheduled stop at Southampton at the end of May.
Sky News reported that, along with the drugs, officials from the UK Border Agency and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) found ecstasy, 100,000 euros, two Harley Davidson motorbikes, two firearms, and a silencer.
Since the drugs were discovered in June the UKBA has helped Dutch police track those who are believed to be responsible, and six Dutch nationals were arrested on Tuesday. This included a 60-year-old man who owns the boat; his sons who are aged 27, 32 and 34; and two 44-year-old men.
"This was a significant drugs seizure which was made possible by the co-operation of our international partners," the Loughborough Echo quoted Immigration minister Damian Green. "UK Border Agency staff have shown vigilance, dedication and determination to uncover this shipment."
Last year just over two tonnes of cocaine were found during the entire year.
More about Cocaine, Yacht, Record, Drugs, Southampton
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